Eastman celebrates donation of new fitness center

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South

The St. Gabriel Community Center has shaped up its fitness equipment thanks to Eastman and the Eastman Foundation.

Eastman hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house recently to celebrate the opening of the new facility. The event included blood pressure checks, distribution of health information, giveaways, as well as drawings for two year-long memberships to the community center, sponsored by Eastman.

"The Eastman St. Gabriel site has been here for over 40 years and we think of this as home. We're thrilled to be able to do this for the community and great people of St. Gabriel," said Tim Harris, site manager at Eastman’s St. Gabriel facility.

"The St. Gabriel Community Center is unique and offers so much to the community," stated Melvin J. Craige Sr., Community Center Director. "It was exciting watching this project grow from an initial discussion of possibly assisting with a few pieces of equipment to a generous donation from the Eastman Foundation to replace all of the equipment. I am very proud of the project and the energy that has sparked the community center and the City of St. Gabriel."

Eastman's St. Gabriel team presented the request to the Eastman Foundation, the company's independent philanthropic organization. The Eastman Foundation invests in initiatives that serve and strengthen communities around the world, and that improve quality of life, focusing its resources on organizations and projects in the areas of education, environment, empowerment, and economic development.

The St. Gabriel Community Center now has brand new cardio and strength training equipment, valued at $150,000.

At the event, St. Gabriel Mayor Lionel Johnson Jr. shared he is, "extremely thankful to the Eastman Foundation for being great community partners. This initiative is a great example of community and industry working together. The revitalized fitness center initiative led by Katherine Daigle, human resources manager at Eastman's St. Gabriel site, and supported by site manager Tim Harris demonstrates what can happen when employees/employers are passionate stakeholders. Simply put, Eastman gets it! And for that I am thankful for their presence and participation in the City of St. Gabriel."

Contributed by Eastman